On Friday evenings some of the best music and entertainment on the North Shore is with Friday Night Live at Lynn Valley United Church in North Vancouver.
FNL SHOWS & COVID-19
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many events have been cancelled or postponed throughout the Lower Mainland.
During the spring, Friday Night Live decided to livestream their performances to help reduce the spread of the virus. However, as of mid-August, they appear to be taking a break for the foreseeable future.
For more information and updates see the Friday Night Live Facebook page.
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Friday Night Live in North Vancouver
If you live nearby or happen to be on the North Shore, then Friday Night Live is well worth checking out. The cost is usually $12 online, $15 at the door and free for children ages 12 and under. It’s a pretty good deal, especially as admission includes snacks and even pizza! Special events are $25.
Friday Night Live (FNL) typically takes place at a church, and is run by the church, but it’s not a “church-y” event. It’s just great entertainment for folks of all backgrounds.
When the event is running, the doors open at 7:30 pm, the show starts at around 8:00, or shortly thereafter, and the entertainment runs for about an hour.
For more information see the Friday Night Live Facebook page.
About Friday Night Live
In the past, Friday Night Live involved comedy improv. Since a couple of years ago, however, the show has transformed to involve more music and it has replaced the improv with a guest artist and their story.
A small band or single musician now opens the show each evening, a host sets the theme, and there’s a different artist every week. The host also interviews the artist or artists for their story – their inspiration, their motivation and their perspective.
Fridays also usually begin with kitchen-party-style mingling, and the artists often stay around for a bit after the shows to visit with the audience.
Who’s Performing at Friday Night Live
Below was the schedule of shows and performers in the winter and spring of 2020.
As you’ll see, the event takes place most (but not all) Fridays. (Note: Show dates, performers and other details were subject to change. In fact, because of COVID-19, many of the performances were either cancelled entirely or went online.)
PAST 2020 FNL SHOWS
January 17th, 2020
- Chris Ronald – a singer/songwriter of contemporary folk music, he has won several awards including “Songwriter of the Year” at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.
January 24th, 2020
- Nyla Carpentier – a poet, writer, actress, powwow dancer and workshop facilitator.
January 31st, 2020
- Dino Dinicolo – a North Vancouver-based musician that performs with a funk, soul and jazz-style sound.
February 7th, 2020
- Beverley Elliott – an actress and singer/songwriter who has starred in a multitude of television shows and movies and sings in the pop-folk style.
February 14th, 2020
- Liam Sturgess – a local Vancouver musician with a rock-pop style.
February 21st, 2020
- Stranger Friends – a jazz group featuring Dean Thiessen on piano and compositions, Thad Bailey-Mai on trumpet and Ben Parker on drums.
February 28th, 2020
- Evan Kennedy – a local North Vancouver musician that performs with acoustic guitar.
For more information see the Friday Night Live Facebook page.
March 6th, 2020
- Deanna Knight – a local Vancouver folk/jazz musician.
March 13th, 2020
- Joel Eddington – a magician and illusionist.
March 27th, 2020
- Michael Fabro – a guitarist, singer and songwriter that performs with a mix of pop and Latin music styles.
April 3rd, 2020
- Songscape Duo – a classical duo that tells a story through song featuring Frank Chu on piano and Madeline Miskie-Jaeger on vocals.
April 10th, 2020
- Jesus Christ Superstar Sing Along – an evening of singing songs from the famous musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. (Note: Due to the coronavirus and the cancellation of all live shows, this performance is being livestreamed online and performed by FNL musician Matt Grinke starting at 4:00 pm. Click FNL on TwitchTV to see the production.
- Carlotta Gurl – today features not just one, but two shows. The evening event features drag-show performer Carl McDonald. The livestream feed opens at 7:00 pm, the house band begins to play at about 7:30 and the main show begins at 8 o’clock. Click FNL on TwitchTV to see the production.
April 17th, 2020
- Amy Stephen – a Celtic musician, harpist, pianist and flute player, Amy is the co-founder of the Celtic Funk band Mad Pudding. The evening’s Kitchen Party begins at 7:00 pm and Amy starts at 8:00. Due to COVID-19, the show is livestreamed via TwitchTV.
April 24th, 2020
- Shawn Bullshields – a musician and songwriter whose music is influenced by Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Cockburn, Paul Simon and Billy Joel.
Friday Night Live Venue Location
Friday Night Live at Lynn Valley normally takes place Friday evenings in Lynn Valley, a residential neighbourhood in North Vancouver.
The event’s venue is at the Lynn Valley United Church building at 3201 Mountain Highway.
Shows take place weekly, except for in December, part of January and from June until the end of August when they take a break. Performances start at 8 o’clock and usually last for about an hour or slightly more.
What to Expect
The performers at Friday Night Live are talented. Each evening has a different theme and special guest or group of performers – often a musician, sometimes a comedian and on the rare occasion even a magician. Occasionally the guest is still an improv group, like it always used to be in the past, but more often than not it’s a musician or band.
Friday Night Live offers really good family-friendly entertainment, and it’s affordable too (especially if you have children under age 13 because they are free).
During normal years, the evening starts with complimentary food. There is usually pizza available as well as mixed veggies, cookies and sometimes even chocolates. There is also wine for sale at about $5 a glass. At around 8 o’clock people take their seats and the show begins.
Although sponsored by the Lynn Valley United Church, the show isn’t church-y. Surprisingly, there is little or no religious content whatsoever – just good clean talented humour, music and family fun. It’s a great event and all are welcome.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your Friday Night Live experience.
TIP #1: On “Special Event” nights book your tickets in advance or arrive early as the show often sells out. Also, remember that tickets those days cost $25, whereas normally they are just $12 online and $15 at the door.
TIP #2: If you can go to one of their “Special Event” nights, go! They are especially impressive! Regular shows are great too, and good value for your money. “Special Event” nights though feature extra well-known groups and personalities who are often from out of town. They are worth the additional $10 to see (and usually quite a bit more).
TIP #3: Arrive early to get a good seat and enjoy the complimentary pizza and other snacks.
TIP #4: If you like what you see, invite your friends the next time. The more the merrier!
TIP #5: If you don’t already live on the North Shore, consider combining your evening at Friday Night Live with a visit to other places of interest in the area. In non-winter months when the sun doesn’t go down until later, nearby parks like Lynn Canyon and Lynn Headwaters can be nice to explore. Lonsdale Quay is also just a 20-minute drive away.
Click on the Friday Night Live Facebook page for other information.
For more ideas on things to do, check out Vancouver’s Best Places Shows and Entertainment Calendar.